Monthly Chronicle - January 2016


Read the article on the Monthly Chronicle website here.

Like so many other small business owners I struggle with getting up and running again after the Christmas break. There’s something about the combination of Christmas splurging, lack of exercise and no longer leaving a daily dent in our office chair which makes it difficult to get back into the swing of things. Then, there’s the inconvenient niggling bad habit of procrastination (which I seem to excel at), all of which combines to turn me, and many others, into a sloth.

We all need to stop at least once a year to reconnect with the reason why we’ve taken on the madness of small business management – that of having more time to spend with family, right? But by the time the silly season comes around we’re all so exhausted from the preparation for the break we actually NEED a break. Does anyone else see the irony in this? Tying up loose ends with clients, clearing inboxes and desktops, advanced ordering with suppliers and setting your out of office reply (who forgot THAT one in 2015?), not to mention Christmas present shopping ….. is it no surprise we all need a holiday!

Too much time off and I seem to completely slow down – it’s not that I don’t love my little business (otherwise known as my third child), but I’m finding it harder and harder to crank up the gears to start the new year with a bang! It’s a kind of jetlag. But personality foibles and action points aside, there are some tactics out there we can all use to get that entrepreneurial-fire-in-the-belly back again. Here are some Top Tips for Motivation Injection from Small Biz Matters:

Tip #1 Set aside 2 hours to clean your office

You wouldn’t start cooking in a filthy kitchen, so why start working in a messy office? Grab a box and start a recycling bin, do a quick shop to local stationery shop (don’t do this anywhere near the start of the school year), make and NEW inbox tray and dump all the 2015 inbox paperwork into a folder. And don’t forget to clean out the top drawer actually CLEAN your desk. I mean moving the hardware and actually wiping the entire desktop; you may want to close your eyes when doing so….

Tip #2 Now for your other desktop

Now that you’re feeling really enthusiastic tackle the mess that is your computer desktop. Start by dragging and dropping ALL your random, uncategorised files into a folder called 2015 (which you promise yourself you’ll go through) and start 2016 afresh with a new desktop background. You might want to add a picture of your family or an inspiring quote or here’s some suggestions:

Tip #3 Buy a big annual wall planner

Get one of the ones that you can use year after year and make sure you out the 2016 holidays in FIRST. Then add necessary deadlines like BAS and Tax dates, major projects you know are coming up, conferences and events, goal planning and voila you’re 2016 has structure!

Tip #4 Dust off your 2015 Goals

Find and read that goals/business plan/strategy document and, starting with your long-term major business objectives, break then down into achievable chunks. From here you can set your three, six and 12 month goals then break these down into monthly and weekly tasks/steps. Add these to the wall planner and try your best to achieve them. The small steps will seem less daunting than the big picture goals and you’ll be moving forward with business development.

Tip #5 Motivate with Reality

A quick check of your bank balance after Christmas splurging should just about do it…

Check out next month’s article where we’ll tackle the ongoing issue for small businesses of productivity.